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State Rep. Danny Short Hearns Pond Update -- Job Fair -- DART Hearing

Date: February 21, 2017



Danny Short NL Banner
February 21, 2017
State, County, School Finances Dominate Discussion
-- Governor Carney to Attend Next Coffee Meeting at Special Time, Place --
The challenge of bridging a projected $350 million state budget shortfall took center stage at State Rep. Danny Short's most recent constituent coffee meeting.
"It's going to take hard work and some people coming together," Rep. Short told the crowd of more than two dozen people gathered at the Nanticoke Senior Center in Seaford.
Sussex County Councilman Michael Vincent, who spoke at the gathering, said he is worried about the impact the state's financial problems could have on the counties.
The budget former Gov. Jack Markell presented before leaving office proposed eliminating state assistance to pay for county paramedic services, while cutting the counties' share of the real estate transfer tax.  Although the Carney administration will be making replacement proposals later this year, county governments are still anxious.
"I think there are people in Dover ... that think the counties have too much money," Councilman Vincent said.  He added that some state officials have raised the issue of property reassessment.
School district and county taxes are based on property values.  A controversial and expensive process, the counties have not conducted property reassessments for decades.  Sussex County last reassessed property values in 1974, New Castle County performed its most recent assessment in 1983, and Kent County bases its property tax collections on assessments done 30 years ago (1987).
By practice and tradition, the legislature votes the state budget plan up or down on its merits, with no opportunity to make any changes.  Councilman Vincent and Rep. Short both said that whatever the General Assembly proposes that might impact local governments should be voted on as separate measures, not folded into the budget.
State spending and revenue will be the focus of Rep. Short's next meeting as well.  As part of a statewide campaign to discuss Delaware's budget challenges with citizens, Gov. John Carney will be at the next "Coffee with Danny" on March 1st at the Nanticoke Senior Center.  The meeting will start at 9 a.m. - one hour later than usual.
Rep. Short's constituent coffee meetings are typically held the first Wednesday of the month, from September through June.
Hearns Pond Work Continues
Work on a $4.2 million reconstruction project at Hearns Pond near Seaford is continuing.
The photos below, courtesy of the Delaware Department of Transportation, update progress to rebuild the dam and stabilize the foundation of the historic mill at the site.
The dam was damaged by storms in August 2001 and June 2006. The 2001 flooding overtopped the dam and washed out a section of it, draining the pond and causing significant downstream flooding.  
According to an assessment by the Department of Environmental Resources and Environmental Control conducted before the start of the work, the Hearns Pond Dam topped Delaware's list of impoundment structures most in need of repair.
The project will be the first to be constructed from the outset to meet the state's new dam safety standards.  It is expected to be finished late this spring.
DART is Seeking Public Input on Proposed Changes
The Delaware Transit Corporation (DTC) will conduct a public hearing workshop in Seaford on Thursday to obtain comments on proposed changes to DART Statewide Fixed Route Bus Services.
The proposed changes would become effective Sunday, May 21st.
Changes to the Resort Transit Service will also be discussed.
Thursday, February 23, 2017 - 4 PM to 6 PM
Seaford City Hall, Council Chambers - 414 High Street, Seaford 19973
The proposals call for statewide schedule and routing changes; discontinuation of unproductive trips and route segments, and reallocating those resources to improve services.  
Resort Transit proposals includes operation of some routes out of the new Lewes Park & Ride, with increased frequencies on most routes.
A summary of the proposed changes can be reviewed by clicking here.
People unable to attend may send comments to: 
DART Public Hearing Workshop Comments
119 Lower Beech Street
Wilmington, DE 19805-4440
Comments can also be emailed through  
All written and e-mailed comments must be received by March 2, 2017.